11 Prehistoric Animals That Are NOT Dinosaurs

Prehistoric Animals
© Mark Kostich from Getty Images and Slab Design Studio/ via Canva.com

Written by Patrick MacFarland

Published: April 6, 2024

Share on:

Advertisement


This world is ancient. Scientists believe the world is billions of years old — with the exact number believed to be 4.5 billion years old. In that time, there have been many creatures roaming Earth. The most famous creatures that have roamed the earth besides humans and the Animals we know today have been dinosaurs. There have been movies about these ferocious creatures. The Jurassic Park franchise is the most famous one of all. Of course, other creatures were roaming this earth besides dinosaurs. Some of them are now extinct. The movie Ice Age features some of these prehistoric animals. Let’s take a look at the 11 prehistoric animals that are NOT dinosaurs.

Andrewsarchus

Watercolor prehistoric andrewsarchus isolated on white background

This animal looks as if it were a hybrid between a hog, a tiger, and a wolf.

©Homunkulus28/iStock via Getty Images

One of the most bizarre-looking prehistoric animals that ever roamed this Earth is called the Andrewsarchus. Named as such because the paleontologist Roy Chapman Andrews discovered the fossils in Mongolia during an expedition. Furthermore, this animal was a hoofed one that probably was carnivorous, as well.

Entelodon

Entelodon Omnivore

The Entelodons lived around the mid-Paleocene epoch.

©CoreyFord/iStock via Getty Images

When you see the entelodon, it will remind you of a hybrid between a pig and a warthog. These ferocious animals lived all over the world — mainly in North America, Asia, and Europe. They are relatives of the current living animals, whales, and hippopotamuses. Moreover, these animals were around four to five feet tall.

Glyptodon

Glyptodon

The glyptodons are ancestors of the current animal, armadillos.

©estt/iStock via Getty Images

These odd-looking creatures were mammals that looked somewhat like a tortoise and an armadillo. The glyptodon lived on this great planet during the Pliocene epoch in South America and some parts of North America, as well. Fossils were first found in 1814 during an excavation in Uruguay.

Mastodon

Illustration of a Mastodon on a white background

Various fossils have been discovered throughout the years around North America belonging to the mastodon.

©Liliya Butenko/Shutterstock.com

This massive creature lived in the Pleistocene epoch and looked similar to an elephant. It had long tusks, and a trunk and roamed around in North American forests. The elephant is a direct descendant of the mastodon. Furthermore, its fossils were first discovered in 1795 in Claverack, NY.

Megalodon

Megalodon close-up

In the late 1980s, the Megalodon’s entire set of teeth was discovered in Saitama, Japan.

©racksuz/Shutterstock.com

The Megalodon was a massive creature that looked like a great white shark (and is most likely a direct relative of the current animal). For millions upon millions of years, they were the number one predator in the world. Moreover, these aquatic creatures grew up to 82 feet long and had 7-inch teeth.

Mosasaurs

3D color illustration of a prehistoric mosasaur

The closest living animals to the mosasaurs are lizards and snakes.

©iStock.com/MR1805

The mosasaurs are one of those creatures that look like a shark. It is a marine animal and these reptiles like Monsters had short necks and gigantic jaws to eat their prey. Furthermore, they grew up to 50 feet long. The first fossils of the mosasaurs were discovered in 1764 in Maastricht, Netherlands.

Phorusrhacos Longissimus

The first fossils were said to be found in the late 1880s in Argentina.

©Michael Rosskothen/Shutterstock.com

Part of the Phorusrhacidae family, they were also colloquially known as “terror birds.” These were giant, carnivorous birds that roamed this Earth during the Miocene epoch. They lived in the woodlands of South America and were considered a highly lethal predator.

Procoptodon

Short-faced kangaroo illustration
This animal’s fossils were first discovered in the 1870s in Australia.

The Procoptodon looks like a hybrid between a giant rabbit and a kangaroo. In fact, even though it is now extinct, at one point it was the largest kangaroo to have lived on this Earth. This large animal, which could grow up to 6 feet tall, lived in the Australian continent during the Pleistocene epoch.

Saber-Toothed Tiger

Saber-toothed tiger

Fossils of the saber-toothed tiger were discovered in the early 1840s in Brazil.

©Daniel Eskridge/Shutterstock.com

The saber-toothed tiger, which is also known as the smilodon, is an extinct animal that looked somewhat like a tiger or cat (although they were not related to modern felines). The saber-toothed tiger lived in the Americas during the Pleistocene epoch. Most recently there was a large collection of fossils discovered in the La Brea Tar Pits of Los Angeles. Lastly, the saber-toothed tiger could grow up to 39 inches and weigh a whopping 600 pounds.

Titanoboa

Titanoboa on grassland

This extinct animal was named in 2009 after its discovery in northeastern Colombia.

©Michael Rosskothen/Shutterstock.com

The largest snake that has ever lived was called the titanoboa. It was discovered in the early 2000s in Colombia by students from the University of Florida and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Lastly, the snake was believed to be 43 feet long and weighed 2,500 pounds.

Woolly Mammoth

woolly mammoths

This species of mammoth became extinct in the Holocene epoch but lived during the Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs.

©Aunt Spray/Shutterstock.com

Perhaps one of the most famous of the extinct animals, the woolly mammoth is a member of the elephant family. There were several species of woolly mammoths, mainly the Colombian mammoth and the steppe mammoth. These creatures grew up to 11 feet tall and weighed up to nine short tons.


Share this post on:
About the Author

Patrick Macfarland is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering travel, geography, and history. Patrick has been writing for more than 10 years. In the past, he has been a teacher and a political candidate. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from SDSU and a Master's Degree in European Union Studies from CIFE. From San Diego, California, Patrick loves to travel and try new recipes to cook.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.